I love to try new places to eat, especially with innovative menus like the new R Bar & Grill just debuted for spring 2015. However, when I’m invited to try a place that literally is around the corner from my house, I’m even more excited, especially since I live in Arlington…land of the Ballpark, the Cowboys and a lot of chain restaurants.
Don’t get me wrong, I frequent most of those places often. So much so that we have regular orders for things like tacos, chicken and steak and they know us by name when we call in. So when Chef Marcelo Vasquez was named the new head chef and debuted a new menu that boasts craft cocktails with fresh juices and house-made bitters, a wood-oven grill and fresh seasonal ingredients at the R Bar & Grill, I had to go find out what I was missing.
While I’m not normally a fan of anything peach, the Texas Peach with South House Peach moonshine, Dublin Texas Peach Soda, and a splash of orange juiceÂ is just what the doctor ordered. And if they would serve these buy the pitcher, it would save me asking for refills. Yep…they were that good and made the top list for my summer go-to patio/porch sippin’ drink.Â
While I couldn’t narrow down what I wanted from the starters menu, there was something about boar chili with a quail egg that screamed “eat me.” However, it could have been the Fritos served on the side that sent me over the edge. Or as I found out after a few bites and confirmation from Chef, it was the mix of boar and brisket that made me want to eat this chili on my burger, my cornbread and maybe even my pizza if they’d let me.
But I wouldn’t have to put it on my pizza because the menu had already one-uped me. Created with house-made chorizo, tequila-soaked pineapple, jalapeÃ±o, cilantro, and Paula’s Queso Blanco (yes, that Paula), there is a reason this wood-oven grilled pizza is called El Gusto..because you’re really going to like all these flavors. And if you’re looking for something a little less creative, there’s many other pizzas to choose from including the Texas Goat Cheese with goat cheese, wild mushrooms, arugula, artichoke, and corn tossed in truffle oil. I havent’ sunked my teeth into that one yet, but I can already taste it.
However, it’s the Cooper Street Tacos that took me way back. Every Arlington resident has spent their time up and down Cooper Street that runs north and south through the city. Taking a little influence from the south meets our need to put everything into a tortilla and then cover it with green chili sausage gravy, I’ve never even hear a taco that tastes like this. And I couldn’t call this one a two-handed taco either since a third one was necessary to even begin to eat it as intended. Besides it wasn’t just another set of hands, but maybe another stomach I needed too. But somehow, I took one for the team…and I finished every.single. bite.
R Bar & Grillâ€™s menuÂ features ingredients from local purveyors including Dallas Mozzarella Co., Dallas, TX; Jimmyâ€™s Food Store, Dallas, TX; Veldhuizen Farms, Dublin, TX; and Gloriaâ€™s Tortillaâ€™s, Fort Worth, TX. Chef Marcelo has kept some of the old favorites, such as the 18 oz. Rib Eye Steak with Firemanâ€™s #4 Battered Onion Rings, Banh Mi Sandwich, Jimmyâ€™s Pizza and Durango Tacos and added new items like Tex Mex Tacos, Spinach Crab Dip, Texas Redfish and a Texas BBQ Burger. Chef Vasquez also will utilize the wood burning pizza oven with a rotating, seasonal pizza selection as well as utilizing the oven to cook some dishes and desserts.
About R Bar & Grill
Located at Hilton Arlington at 2401 E Lamar Blvd, R Bar is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. â€“ 11 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. â€“ 2a.m. on Friday and Saturday. For reservations and more information, please call 817-640-3322 or visit www.rbarandgrilltx.com.